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Unadvertised Delta Denver Sale

Here's an unusual and excellent unadvertised sale on Delta (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com) for Denver. The following cities are on sale, for travel Tuesday or Wednesday through mid-March, 2007. This sale has been going on for a few days, as visitors to the Airfarewatchdog Denver page already know, but it could disappear at any moment. Travel other days of the week is a bit higher ($30-$70 more round-trip).

  • Burlington, VT $177
  • Columbus OH $177
  • Kansas City $137
  • Los Angeles $167
  • Oklahoma City $118
  • Santa Ana, CA $147
  • St. Louis $177
  • San Antonio $167
  • San Francisco $167

West Coast Spring Sale on Alaska Air

Alaska Airlines (tel. 800/252-7522; www.alaskaair.com) is having a spring clearance sale (even though it's valid for travel through most of June 8) that covers all the cities it flies to on the West coast. There's still availability on all the fares (except a few routes in August), and most of the fares are indeed the lowest available, even though other carriers match on select routes.

Here's a sampling of one-way fares, with all the taxes and fees included:

  • Seattle/Calgary: $123 vs. $132 by Delta and United through Travelocity, depart May 2
  • Seattle/Burbank: $124 matched by America West through Travelocity, depart May 13
  • Los Angeles/Reno: $94 matched by American through Travelocity, depart May 23
  • Las Vegas/Spokane: $110 vs. matched by America West through Travelocity, depart June 3

Travel through June 8, 2006. Round-trip purchase not required. 14-days advance purchase. Travel Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, unless otherwise stated, then travel on Tuesday and Wednesday only (generally fares to/from Canada). There's no last day of purchase listed, so it's just based on availability.

Mother's Day Weekend Sale

American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) is having a Mother's Day weekend sale to what seems like every destination American flies to in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A majority of the fares we found are lower than what's currently available from other airlines, although Northwest is matching in some markets. Even if you don't want to see Mom, these fares are a good excuse to for a quick weekend getaway. You'll find many more of these fares listed on the various city pages of Airfare Watchdog.

Below are samples round-trip fares, including taxes and fees, between:

  • Baltimore & San Juan: $292 vs. $438 on US Airways,
  • Dallas & St. Thomas: $480 vs. $683 on Delta, depart May 12, return May 16
  • Boston & New York LaGuardia: $120 vs. $158 on major airlines, depart May 13, return May 16
  • Chicago & Montreal: $292 (non-stop) vs. $300 on Northwest (plane change in Detroit, depart May 13, return May 17
  • Los Angeles & Denver: $210 matched by America West and United, depart May 13, return May 17

Travel within US and to/from Canada -- depart Saturday, May 13 and return Tuesday, May 16 or Wednesday, 17; travel to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands -- depart Thursday, May 11 or Friday, May 12, 2006 and return travel is valid Monday May 15 or Tuesday, May 16, 2006. Tickets must be purchased by April 25, 11:59PM, CDT.

Spirit Sale for Travel Through June

Spirit Airlines (tel. 800/772-7117; www.spiritair.com) is having a Syber Sale for travel in April and May with fares starting at $88 round-trip. Poking around Spirit's site, here are some round-trip fares that we found, taxes and fees included, between:

  • Fort Lauderdale & Nassau: $151 vs. $161 on Continental through Travelocity, depart April 28, return May 4
  • Orlando & San Juan: $220 vs. $239 on American, depart May 10, return May 14
  • Detroit & Tampa: $179 vs. $261 on US Airways, depart May 16, return May 23

The savings are there for this sale, especially if you're looking for last minute travel. You can only travel on specified dates, but if you can indeed travel during those dates you will be saving some money. But don't dawdle, as you only have through April 19, 2006, 11:59PM EST to book.

Sale to/from Long Island, NY

Southwest Airlines (tel. 800/435-9792; www.southwest.com) is offering a sale for travel to Islip, Long Island. The fares are indeed a lot better than what you'll find at present on other airlines, with a few exceptions (namely fares in to and out of Florida), although it wouldn't surprise us if the other airlines match. Here are a few one-way fare comparisons (taxes and fees not included) for Islip, NY:

  • Burbank: $99 vs. $150 on US Airways
  • Chicago Midway: $39 vs. $80 on US Airways and United (which offers flights to & from O'Hare)
  • Denver: $99 vs. $137 on America West and US Airways
  • Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa: $99 vs. $79 on US Airways
  • Phoenix: $99 vs. $160 on America West and US Airways

Islip is a sometimes good alternative to the other New York City airports if you don't mind taking the time to travel between Islip and city, about 1.5 hours by train. But it is an airport worth considering if the savings are big.

A 7-day advance purchase required for travel through August 3, 2006. Round-trip purchase not required. Tickets must be purchased by May 11, 2006, midnight PST.

Virgin Atlantic Sale to London

Did you miss those $400 round-trip with tax peak summer sales on Virgin (tel. 800/862-8621; www.virgin-atlantic.com) to London? Well, this is not that. However, you will save a few bucks by booking your springtime flight to London on Virgin with this sale. Virgin claims that these fares are available only on their site, but we seemed to be able to nearly match them on Orbitz if not Travelocity.

Some sample bookings:

  • Boston to London departing April 25 and returning May 2 is $479 round-trip on Virgin's site. Next lowest, same route and dates, we could find on Travelocity was $536 on United, both non-stop flights to Heathrow. Same dates on Virgin via Orbitz: $508 round-trip (although Orbitz lists a Northwest routing through Detroit to Gatwick for $424 on those dates).
  • Los Angeles to London same dates is $616 on Virgin via Orbitz ($534 on Northwest via Detroit); on Virgin's site we found $605 round-trip.
  • And on the San Francisco/London route leaving May 8 and returning a week later, we found a lowest fare of $682 on Virgin's site or a nearly identical $693 on Orbitz (the slight difference we expect is simply Orbitz's booking fee). In an event, Virgin's fares are indeed the lowest on these routes, even if only by a few dollars.

Introductory Fare: NYC to Paris

On April 16, Air Tahiti Nui (tel. 877/824-4846; www.airtahitinui-usa.com) started service between New York JFK and Paris Charle de Gaulle, and they are offering a really good rate (if you can get it) between those two cities. The base rate is $298 round-trip, and here's what we found when putting them to the are-seats-really-available test (prices include taxes and fees):

  • Depart April 30, return May 8: $464 vs. $592 on Icelandair (via Iceland, of course)
  • Depart May 14, return May 22: $384 vs. $577 on United

So these are the real deal! The downside to this sale is that Air Tahiti Nui only has one flight per week in either direction: Sunday at 5:15 PM from New York, and Monday at 12:25 PM from Paris. The price listed above is for travel through May 25, 2006. The price is significantly higher for travel between May 26 and September 10, 2006. So you only have a few options if you're trying to get a good low fare.

In addition, in our experience, the website was having some problems, so you may have to call their toll-free number to make the purchase.

Tickets must be purchased by May 17, 2006, but we suspect seats will be gone way before that so act quickly.

Around the World with Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand (tel. 800/262-1234; www.airnewzealand.com) will offer a new service between London Heathrow and Hong Kong starting October 26, 2006, thus completing a link for travel around the world, and making Air New Zealand the only airline to offer such service exclusively on its own planes. The route operates Los Angeles to Auckland to Hong Kong to London to Los Angeles -- or you can fly in reverse order. To celebrate, Air New Zealand is offering a special deal for those who book early. Travelers who are ticketed before July 31, 2006, will receive a special introductory Pacific Economy Class rate of $2,500 per person, a $300 savings from the regular published fare. Year-round global fares include $7,200 for Business Premier, $3,600 for Pacific Premium Economy Class and $2,800 for Pacific Economy Class. Pacific Island stopovers are available between Los Angeles and Auckland. This round-the world ticket can be purchased at www.airnewzealand.com or by contacting a travel agent. Travel must be in same global direction with no backtracking. Maximum stay is one year (no minimum). Tickets must be issued prior to July 31, 2006. The outbound travel sector must be confirmed at least seven days before departure. No waitlists permitted. And there's a $150 non-refundable cancellation/refund fee before departure.

Spring Sale to Punta Cana and Cancun

USA3000 (tel. 877/872-3000; www.usa3000.com) is having a spring travel sale to Punta Cana and Cancun that's up to 50-percent off their regular prices from Baltimore, Chicago O'Hare, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Hartford, Milwaukee, New York JFK, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis. And to Punta Cana, you can fly from the above cities plus and Newark. In addition, you'll receive $20 off every round-trip ticket you purchase online. Here's a sample of round-trip fares (with the $20 off), taxes and fees included:

  • Baltimore to Cancun: $390 vs. $419 on American, depart April 30, return May 4
  • Chicago to Punta Cana: $413 vs. $505 on Continental, depart May 7, return May 13
  • St. Louis to Cancun: $270 vs. $343 on Continental, depart April 29, return May 5
  • Newark to Punta Cana: $403 vs. $397 on United, depart April 28, return May 5

Depending on your destination, you can certainly save money, if only a bit, over the major airlines. Just remember to enter the "Spring" promo code in the yellow box to receive an additional $20 off your round-trip ticket. And be sure to click the "Flexible Traveler (show me lowest fare dates)" box as you'll then be shown the price and availability, and hopefully you can adjust your dates to get the best deal.

But don't tarry, as you can only travel through May 5, and tickets must be purchased by April 19, 2006, 9PM EST.

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and blogger whose website, www.airfarewatchdog.com, tracks unadvertised airfare wars and other fare sales.

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